tv The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN September 20, 2011 5:00pm-7:00pm EDT
also spoke to the father and there was a bit of compassion between the two men, so a very emotional day between the two men. >> we'll check back in with you tomorrow. thank you so much and thank you for watching. time to turn things over to wolf blitzer. "the situation room" starts right now. wolf? -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com the president of the united states is taking the world stage here in new york city. he's pushing critical u.s. ofbtives across the middle east. plus, my special interview with the former president of the united states, bill clinton. he's now on a global push of his own. his fears for the country's economic recovery. what he says is sad about washington and a sobering message for voters. all that coming up. and did top female staffers in the obama white house suffer a hostile working environment? the fallout from an explosive new book.
i'm wolf blitzer at the clinton global initiative in new york. you're in "the situation room." we're reporting today from the annual meeting in the clinton global initiative here in new york city covering this major forum all week. i had a chance to sit down with the former president bill clinton for an extensive interview. part of it will air this hour. part in the next hour. i want you to stand by. only a few blocks away at the united nations, president obama's on a major diplomatic mission of his on and a number of critical issues are on the table. let's bring in jessica yellin. she's with me here at the clinton global initiative. a huge day today. maybe even a more important day for the president tomorrow. >> that's right. but first today, it was a major day of diplomacy for the
president. today, he met with the new leaders of a post gadhafi libya. emphasized that the u.s. will be reopening its em bah sbassy in this week. the president also sat down with afghan president hamid karzai. the first time the two lead rs have met face to face since the administration announced it would start drawing down troops. also, the president has had a meeting with turkey's prime minister. now, historically, the u.s. and turkey have had a good relationship, but recently, the prime minister of turkey has been extremely critical of israel. >> he's getting laready for his annual address before the u.n. general assembly and this is a really delicate, sensitive moment in the middle east. >> that's the perfect word and torp, the president will have to do a delicate dance.
last year, the president said at this time, he would hope to be able to announce a palestinian state. but since that time, peace talks with israel have stalled. there have been no major advancements and now, the palestinians made clear they will come to the u.n. and one way or another, make a play for a vote of state hood here at the united nations and the president in his speech will have to explain why he would block such a move. now, that for the u.s. is a potentially awkward explanation give p the president has stood for state hood in other arab nations. the politicians are expected to make that play sometime after the president leaves new york. >> for friday, right now. thanks very much. jessica's going to be staying with us today, tomorrow, throughout the week. president obama may be front and center on the world stage right
now, but his challenges on the campaign trail aren't far behind. just steps from the u.n., the front-runner, rick perry, was meeting with jewish american leaders. he lambed the president's land ling of the middle east peace process. >> we would not be here today at this very precipice of such a dangerous move if the obama policy in the middle east wasn't nieve and arrogant, misguided and dangerous cht. >> we're going to have much more from what rick perry had to say. let's go to afghanistan right now. where a blast has claimed the life of the country's former president, a political figure considered fie vry tall to peace efforts in the region. barbara starr is standing by with the latest. what happened here? >> another shocking attack in the afghan capital of kabul today. the man that was killed is not known to most americans.
but vital to the peace process in afghanistan. and that means vital to getting u.s. troops to getting u.s. troops out and coming home, his name is rabini, he was a former president of afghanistan, fled the taliban, was working now as the head of peace counsel. he was assassinated today at his home in kabul. he was welcoming two people into his home he believed were taliban wanting to reconcile. instead, they were suicide bombers. he was killed, another man, badly wounded. the taliban were critical of him, he was critical of karzai, but had undertaken this reconciliation work because many people felt that he was the one who could maybe at the end of the day who could pull it off. >> what does this say about security right now in afghanistan? >> well, you know, in kabul now, they have seen several high
profile attacks. many of the u.s. military still sticking to the party line that they are making progress against the taliban, but today, defense secretary leon panetta said it is time for the u.s. to weigh in and try to do something to improve security. have a listen. >> we have made progress in weakening them. we have made progress in going after their leadership. but having said that, they now are resorting to these kinds of attacks, to these kinds of high level assassinations, which you know, as i said, are of concern. and we've got to take steps to try to make sure that we protect against that. and we're in the process of doing that. we're working with the afghans to try to discuss with them steps on how we can take provide better protection so that this does not occur. >> the big concern, the so-called hakini network.
panetta said these continued attacks they believe they are behind, are simply no longer tolerable. wolf? >> does this impact the short-term withdrawal strategy? the u.s. is planning on having troops in afghanistan until 2014, but until then, supposed to start reducing those numbers. what are you hearing? >> that short-term plan to bring the so-called surge home still is underway, but you know, at this point, the problem is these attacks, they're high pro file a are becoming streenlgedly significant. they're getting the attention of afghans, calling into question whether the karzai government can really provide for the security of that country and that is the test in the long run for u.s. troops coming home. karzai's government has to be able to take over before u.s. troops can take home and the more attacks you see, the more that is called into question,
wolf. >> karzai was supposed to spend a few days here, but i think he's getting ready to bolt because of this crisis. comeing up, my special interview with the former president, bill clinton. he tells me what worries him about some of the political contenders. you're going to find out who they are and what's going on. the interview coming up. plus, the end of a controversial era for the u.s. military. no words can describe how it feels to stand up here and be able to say for the first time, my name is first lieutenant josh freed and i am a gay lieutenant in the yit air force. it's a huge burden lifted off of my shoulder. almost tastes like one of jack's cereals.
before that, let's check in with jack cafferty. >> and you're in new york with me. you're just across on the east side. thanks, wolf. there are a lot of unhappy democrats these days and some are setting their sights drktly on president obama. a group of liberal leaders says they want to feel the slate of candidates against the president in the primaries. just what the president wants to hear. ralph nader tells the washington times that without an interparty challenge, the liberal agenda will be ignored. he says obama running on a post will kill voter enthusiasm and that voters won't get to see the real differences between democrats and republicans. more than 45 liberal leaders support this idea. they point to obama's handling of the wall street bailout, the wars, libya, the extension of bush tax cuts and the debt ceiling deal. meanwhile, the head of the congressional black caucus says
that unhappy members of his group would probably be marching on the white house if mr. obama weren't president. black leaders have been begging the president to address unemployment among african-americans, which stands at close to 17%. almost double the national average. finally, one of mr. obama's hometown newspapers, the "chicago tribune," t "chicago tribune," is running a column called why obama should withdraw. steve chapman suggests not running might be sensible for mr. obama to do. he says the president might do the party a favor by stepping aside, taking the blame and letting someone else replace him at the top of the ticket. someone like, oh, say, hillary clinton. here's the question. how much of a problem does president obama have with his own party? go to cnn.com/caffertyfile. post a comment on my blog or go to our post on "the situation room's" facebook page. i suppose at the end of the day if you don't want to vote for a
republican, you're going to vote for the president for a second term, but at the moment, he's got some problems. >> he certainly does, but as i keep saying, it's still a long time between now and november 2012. we'll see what unfolds, jack. appreciate it. lisa sylvester is monitoring some other top stories right now. lisa, a setback for a death row inmate. what's the latest? >> troy davis is about 24 hours away from his execution now that the georgia parole board has denied his request for clemency. his supporters are vowing to keep fighting to stop his execution. he was convicted 20 years ago in the shooting death of a police officer and next hour, we will speak exclusively with the prosecutor in the case and we are getting new video in of friday's air show crash in nevada. now, a brief warning that you may find this video dift to watch.
>> no! no! no! no! >> authorities say another person has died as a result of the crash, bringing the death toll to 11. linda mcmahan is throwing her hat in the ring again. she anountsed her run for the senate today. she spent millions last year. she is running for the seat currently held by joe lieberman, who is not running for re-election. and a scathing new book and sarah palin hits bookstores today and the author is already defending himself against criticism. joe mcginnis, who lived next to the palins last year, says many of his sources are unnamed because the family will do anything to protect their image. the palins have intimidated so many people for so long in the wasilla area that it's very
hard to find people willing to talk about them even in inconsequential ways on the record. they scare people. they threaten people. even since the book has come out, i've gotten contacted by two of my named sources in the book who said they're now being told they better watch their backs. >> no surprise here. the palins here have blasted the book with todd palin saying it is quote, full of disgusting lies. wolf? >> thank you. coming up in my interview with bill clinton, he reveals something he says he's very concerned about and says why you should be worried as well. [ artis brown ] america is facing some tough challenges right now.
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history was made today for the nation's armed forces. today marked the end of don't ask don't tell, the policy so many learned to loathe. for the first time, gay servicemen and women can now admit their sexual orientation without any fear of persecution. chris lawrence is joining us now with more. so today's day one after don't ask don't tell. how's it going? >> some are celebrating this development while others are realizing it's not the magic bullet they thought it might be. don't ask don't tell is dead and just like that, it's okay for some troops to stop hiding who they are. >> i'm 31 years old. i'm a woman. i'm a united states marine and i'm a lesbian. and -- pardon me. prior to today, if i had said
that, i could expect to be discharged from the military. >> the pentagon has now trained 97% of troops on the new policy and expects 100% compliance. >> the possibility of harassment, we have a zero tolerance. >> jeremy johnson's reenlistment paper work was processed today, but he's one of the fortunate few discharged under don't ask don't tell. >> i'll be honest, i've talked to people who wanted to go back in and they started making the phone calls to recruiters and found there are a set of circumstances just wont allow it and there's letdown. you can hear it in their voice. >> some are too old now are their specialties are no long rer needed. the pentagon isn't giving them any waivers, so they're in the same boat as any other service member. openings are hard to come by. more troops are staying in even as the military downsizes due to
the budget crunch. >> defense is taking more than its share of cuts, in excess of $450 billion. >> like all troops, gays and lesbians will be able to designate anyone as a life insurance beneficiary or care giver. but the military does not recognize gay marriage because the defense of marriage act is federal law. >>'re going to file that law as long as it exists. we're aware there are benefits which do to this change specifically and directly. >> so same-sex partners are not eligible for the service member's pension or dependent health care benefits and unlike other federal agencies, the military makes marriage an incentive. married troops get paid more and have access to better housing. wolf? >> all right. thanks very much for that update. still obviously a very historic day for the united states military. bill clinton certainly knows a lot about presidential politics.
just ahead, you're going to hear his thoughts on the tea party debate last week. what he said he heard that truly disturbed him. what he heard coming up right here on "the situation room." and he's... not so much. well, for a driver like you, i would recommend our new snapshot discount. this little baby keeps track of your great driving habits, so you can save money. [sighs] amazing. it's like an extra bonus savings. [ cackling ] he's my ride home. how much can the snapshot discount save you? call or click today. ♪ hush, little baby ♪ don't you cry ♪ soon the sun ♪ is going to shine ♪ [ male announcer ] toyota presents the prius family. ♪ walk if i want, talk if i want ♪ [ male announcer ] there's the original one... the bigger one... the smaller one...
president obama on the offensive with growing economic fears across the country and fierce backlash from republican leaders on capitol hill. all of it a source of serious concern for the former president of the united states, bill clinton. mr. president, good to see you at the clinton global initiative. it's jobs, jobs, jobs right now. this is an enormous crisis and potentially, potentially, it could get a whole lot worse. >> it could. and it could get better.
and you know, what we're trying to do here is to just come up with concrete things that can be done, not just in the united states, but elsewhere, to put americans back to work. when we met in chicago in june, or july, we talked about how to put america back to work and today, we had a good manifestation of that with the announcement by the aflco and american federation of teachers if they were releasing a lot more money to try to put their members and other people, construction workers, back to work retro fitting buildings and they're going to create an enormous number of jobs doing this. >> but you know there's political gridlock in washington. the president comes up with these initiatives, these plans as he's done this week, but you know it's not going to go anywhere as far as the republican members are concerned. >> i think it's sad, but the people, they were elected by the american people essentially on the promise of doing nothing.
except to try to you know, give us a lot less government. and then in the senate, i think they'll block anything because they're afraid it will work. >> you need 60 votes in this senate. >> senator mcconnell says his main goal in life so to defeat the president for re-election, so it is what it is, but i still think the president had to propose these things and ultimately, the american people will have to decide what kind of country they want and vote for it. they voted in 2006 and 2008, they voted for one kind of country to take a move away from the policies of the previous year and in 2010, they voted to take a u-turn and i don't think they really think like that. i think they think, well, we need a little more of this, little more of this and that, but they voted for quite a radical departure.
and so, you know, it's interesting to me to see the voters sit around and condemn the politicians that they elected -- >> my sense is and you i have different jobs, but '95, '96, when the government was shutdown, as bitter as the acrimony was in washington then and i covered it, i was the white house correspondent covering your administration, i think it's worse now. you tell me what you think. >> could be. you would know better than me because i'm not there all the time. i think basically -- but the american people, all i'm saying is they keep giving congress low rating and the white house low ratings. they need to take a little ownership here. every one of these people got into power because they were voted for. and none of them, there's now a
determined effort to restrict the franchise and kind of -- the meeting of democratic elections, but these people were, you know, you should pay attention to what people say when they run for office, they pretty much try to do what they say they're going to do and i will give it to the tea party republicans, they, if you paid attention, they're doing what they said they were going to do and the voters now seem to be upset by it. >> did you see that debate that i moderated in tampa? >> i saw some of it, yeah. >> what did you think of those guys up there on the stage? >> there's a range of, what i think i the more moderate ones as you might imagine and the ones i think would be better presidents. i was like a lot of people, quite disturbed that there were those cheering when you asked if a man who needed life saving care but didn't have health
insurance, should be allowed to die and there seemed to be cheering, but you know, it's all political theatre now. look at the difference in what we're doing here and what happens in the campaign. and i sympathize with you because you've got to run all these news programs. now, it looks to me what looks like is good politics in the modern world when times are tough is conflict and it makes for edgier news coverage and yet in the real world where jobs are created, what works is cooperation. so, it's not the government versus the private sector, it's what they can do together to create prosperity. and if you look at oh, i don't know, let's take san diego. center of biotechnology in america. no longer primarily a navy city. it's a biotech city.
the silicon valley is back. orlando has 100 computer simulation companies. pittsburgh is trying to go from being a city of steel to the city of nanotechnology. cleveland is using cleveland clinic to try to retrofit if you will, not buildings, the workforce. so, there are these centers of prosperity. every one of them works because people cooperate rate, not because there's conflict. conflict is good politics. that's how you get elected. >> you said some of the republican candidates are more moderate. who do you like and who are you concerned about? not from the political standpoint, but from the standpoint of america's future? >> well, it appears that governor huntsman and romney did not just flat out deny climate change. it appears that the governor huntsman said he supported the compromise to raise the debt
ceiling because america couldn't afford the economic consequences of debt default. that now passes for moderate to a liberal position in a republican party who's the only candidate for president who supported not defaulting on our debt. i didn't -- things about the other candidates. unless a country that has such bit ir antigovernment philosophy. >> like rick perry? >> get washington as far away as possible. an enormous percentage of the jobs created in texas since the financial meltdown, he's done pretty well with government funding. closing budget gaps, creating
public jobs, but none the less, antigovernment, this whole antigovernment thing and it sounded so good, but there's not an example of a successful country. you work around the world, the countries growing faster than we are have lower unemployment rates, less income and equality. they have a good government and good economy. they don't run against the government. they use the government and economy work together and so, what's good politics for them is there's just not any example in the world of the country working better, doing what they advocate. not a single one. >> what i hear you saying is you'd be happier if romney or huntsman got the nomination that rick perry. >> they'll both lose if anybody thinks i've endorsed them. i'm just saying that i appreciate the fact that they're trying to navigate a landscape
that bears almost no relationship to what's produced successful economies in the world and there are lots of countries that are now doing better than we are in some areas because of the very ideas that apparently you have to support to get the nomination. and it bothers me because i think we need a republican-democratic debate and discussion about how best to change the way we produce and consume energy. and how best to revive the economy and how best to incorporate the need for cultural norms like the value of work and family as well as government programs to help get through this tough time and we can't get it because you're either for our against the government and if you're antigovernment guy, you've got to say every tax is bad. every regulation is bad.
first, it's not true and. >> much more on my interview, including serious concerns looming over the middle east over a showdown at the united nations. more of the interview coming up. should the u.s. be worried about retaliatory violence depending on what happens in new york this week? also, hot water for the white house over that solar energy company that went bankrupt after receiving millions of dollars in taxpayer money. [ female ] we will always be dependent on foreign oil. [ male ] using clean american fuel is just a pipe dream. ♪ [ female announcer ] we're rolling away misperceptions about energy independence. did you know that today about a quarter of all new transit buses use clean, american natural gas?
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anywhere in the world of a successful country that has such a bitter antigovernment philosophy like the republicans do right now. especially rick perry. he says it's hypocritical of perry that countries have benefitted from those government jobs and aid to texas over the past few years. does bill clinton have a point? >> it's great to see bill clinton out there campaigning again. he's conveniently forgotten there was once a candidate called ronald reagan, i worked on the 1980 campaign, who said government isn't the solution, it's the problem. he had a pretty successful eight years in the presidency. fakihture in ''79 ran, a decade of very successful governance and bill clinton was mischaracterizing the debate we had in august, the republicans
were to a person the leadership boehner, mcconnell. were saying that we were not going to let a default happen. it was in fact, the secretary of the treasury warning the world there might be a default. i think president clinton, it's wonderful to see him and all the horsepower he has in politics, but i don't think it's much of a representation of the reality of the history of campaigning against big government. >> i suspect donna, you disagree, but tell us why. >> first of all, bill clinton is a statesman. he's respected by other world leaders and we're glad he is still on the international stage trying to forge peace and bring about economic opportunity to all citizens around the world. the truth is, the republicans constantly run against washington. they loathe government unless they're in power. and the fact is that while democrats believe in we the people, the republican believes
we're the corporate business. we have different philosophies as bill clinton outlined. the truth of the matter is, you dislike government, washington way, well, stay the hell out of it. we can do very well without republicans running things. >> tony, you did hear the former president say that he thinks hundre huntsman and romney are more reasonable than perry because they recognize a problem called global warming. >> it reminded me of what cheney said about mrs. clinton. yeah, there's a lot of game playing going on on both sides of the al making compliments presumably bill clinton thinks huntsman is a weaker candidate. >> we've had six republicans -- >> donna, i want to listen to what -- hold on a second.
just listen to -- you can answer that, but listen to what rick perry said in new york today about president obama and israel, the middle east. >> the obama policy of moral equivalency, which gives equal standing to the grievances, israelis and palestinians and including the orchestraters of terrors is a very dangerous insult. there is no middle ground between our allies and those who seek their destruction. >> all right. go ahead, donna. i know you've worked hard on this issue as well. respond to rick perry. >> well, first of all, he sounds like a previous president with his my way or the highway bring it on, either for us or against us. president obama has a strong
record of israel's security and peace. he believes in a two-state solution and wants both sides to come to the bargaining table and the reason palestinians have direct talks with israel. he'll be meeting with the town. israel's alley, i was in the region a few months ago and i understand how important it is for israel to have support of the united states and just recently, the prime minister complimented the president on his help in the standoff there in egypt as well as the continuing concerns that israel has about turkey, syria, jordan and the entire middle east an iran of course. so i don't know where rick perry is getting his information. maybe he needed condoleezza rice to avise him or someone who knows more about affairs. >> tony? you want to advise him a little bit? >> as you know, wolf, anyone who walks into middle east diplomacy
and politics is in treacherous territory. his statements reminded me of something i read in the paper today of the publisher of "new republic." his article here, obama's middle east is in tatters. he was critical in a similar way that perry was of obama's buying into a lot of the palestinian narrative rather than staying between the two. i think perry went a little further than perez, but the critique of president obama's middle east misplay i think the both from the neocon right and from the traditional and internationalist liberals in washington. >> i've seen articles by mel -- >> all of our viewers are also, donna, hold on. >> i'm sorry. >> donna, i was just going to say when part two of my interview with the former president bill clinton comes up,
we speak at length about what's going on in the middle east, u.s.-israeli relations. he's got advice for netanyahu. donna, make your final thought, then we'll move on. >> this is a very important period of time for the negotiations that must continue and as you know, the president has threatened to veto any attempt to circumvent the peace talks and go directly to the u.n. the president believes in a two-state solution. that's the belief not just of this president, but the previous president. it's time they sit down across from each other and come up with a solution that can guarantee the peace and security of israel and palestinian home land. >> easier said than done obviously. >> of course. >> guys, thanks very much. the white house is trying to project a squeaky clean image, but two executives threated that as they refused to tell congress
dale rights his three years in office have been a lame attempt at consensus biltding with an ignorant republican party. he should have learned from the health care debate they don't care about the american people and are only interested in his failure. by not standing up for the beliefs, he's in trouble. fay rights in dallas --
we americans were dumb enough to re-elect bush and smart enough to elect obama. i have my fingers crossed. harriet writes -- he's given the farm away to the republicans on every negotiating point, he's capitulated the big business, wall street and all the other scoundrels after promising to put an end to their shenanigans and criminal activity. we're still waging several wars not to mention the soaring national debt. need i go on in craig writes obama hasn't figured out he's the head of the party and how to make it work for him yet.
how can he lead the country when he can't even lead his own party? bob writes as long as i paid attention to politics i've never seen a president endure such opposition to each and every thing he does. i appreciate our president has hung in there and hasn't lost his composure. honestly i don't know how he hasn't punched boehner, ryan and cantor smack in the face. look for our post on "the situation room's" facebook page. wolf? >> jack, thank you. the white house is dealing with a new embar rossment involving decisions by executives at solyndra. lisa sylvester is following this. what is the latest? >> the coo and cfo of solyndra are supposed to testify before the house energy and commerce committee on oversight this friday but their attorneys say they will invoke their fifth
amendment rights and will not provide testimony. the company received as abo $53 million government loan from the stimulus loan. the company filed for bankruptcy and two days later the fbi searched their offices although it's unclear exactly what they're investigating. now the ceo brian harrison's attorney cited ongoing investigations and we just got a copy moments ago of the letter in which he said "this is not a decision arrived at lightly but it is a decision dictated by current circumstances, on september 8th, 2011, federal agents executed a search warrant at solydra's facilities, moreover the united states department of justice has initiated an investigation into sol sol sol solyndra. in light of the circumstances i had no choice but to incite him
to invoke his fifth amendment rights." here's what representative cliff stern said. >> we invited him this beak. they asked for a delay. we said be glad to do that. we asked are you going to take the fifth? they said no going to try and testify. that's my assumption they'll testify and not take the fifth. i think under the circumstances is the proper way to go. >> now another thing that has just come out is a statement from representative sterns and committee chairman essentially saying brian harrison have reneged on written assurances they would not take the fifth amendment while testifying. apparently they worked out an agreement it was very clear that the plan at least was that they would testify, that clearly is not going to happen at this point, wolf? >> lisa, thanks very much. we're just getting this in
from our senior state department lisa labbott, president obama will in fact meet here tomorrow wednesday with the palestinian authority president mahmoud abbas. earlier it was said he would be meeting separately with benjamin netanyahu, at issue trying to avert a diplomatic crisis at the u.n. over a declaration of a palestinian state. much more on the story coming up in the next hour. we'll take a quick break. much more after this.
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much more on my interview with former president bill clinton in just a few minutes. first a focus of the clinton global initiative this year is certainly on jobs. our senior correspondent allan chernoff reports. not only are executives and government leaders at the clinton global initiative talking jobs, they're also showing how they walk the talk. >> we can do this. the government has invested in technologies, in a wide array of areas and has seen successes and left behind industries that are susta sustainable. >> reporter: yes the navy is helping generate civilian jobs through green innovative technology, it has been a prime customer of solezyne which makes algae based fuel. a manufacturer in nebraska will manufacture enzymes for industrial use. it will create more 100
permanent jobs. >> the purpose of the enzymes are to help clients make more with less, increasing sustainability, creating new green jobs in the industries that we actually serve. >> reporter: organized labor is involved, too. afl-cio is committed to invest up to $10 billion into energy-efficient infrastructure to create jobs. two of the public pension funds in california are already spending more than $1 billion to achieve a so-called triple bottom line. >> if we can put people back to work and we can help rebuild this country of ours, i think we can all be very, very proud of that work. >> reporter: to fill such jobs, proper training is essential, microsoft estimates half of today's jobs require technology skills, and they say in ten years, three-quarters of all jobs will need technology skills. >> the united states ranks 18th around the world in terms of internet access in the home, and we also recognize that students
who have internet access in the home graduate by six to eight points more likely than other students without internet access. >> reporter: microsoft is committed to a partnership that will provide computers and internet access to 1 million low income families. it's a very fine commitment. now the clinton global initiative has been doing this since 2005. if all the commitments were fully funded it would amount to $63 billion. that can create a good number of jobs, but it would take quite a bit more money to significantly lower the u.s. unemployment rate. wolf? >> allan, thanks very much. lots of money there. and you're in "the situation room." happening now, an unflattering portrait of the obama white house, allegedly run like a boys club, with high-level women said to be cut off from the president, and controversial claims of a hostile work environment. stand by. also my special interview with the former president bill clinton, we talk about jobs, the
palestinian quest for statehood and why he thinks his former adviser, james carville is wrong about what president obama should do next. and clemency denied, a george man is hours away from execution for a crime thousands of people around the world are convinced he did not commit. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer at the clinton global initiative in new york. you're in "the situation room." explosive allegations in the controversial new book about the obama white house, in confidence, men, award winning author ron suskind alleges infighting and indecision among top presidential staff and claims top female staffers were simply shut out and raises the possibility that women in the white house were treated unlawfully. cnn's brian todd has been digging into the book and the
story. what do we know about the latest allegations? >> wolf we know there are quotes in this book about the white house being a hostile workplace for women, but there's all sorts of back and forth now about whether the quotes were accurate or not. new accusations of a boys club in the obama white house, in his new book "confidence men" author ron suskind writes of tension during president obama's first two years over complaints women weren't treated as well as men, one of the most inflametory quotes comes from former white house communications director anita dunn "this place would be in court for the hostile workplace because it actually fit all of the classic legal requirements for a genuinely hostile workplace to women." the white house wouldn't comment. we couldn't get a statement from dunn. she told "the washington post" she told suskind it was not a hostile equipment.
>> anita was clearly misquoted in this book and then the stories since then have not really told the full story which is this, that she was talking to a colleague and making joking comments about the impact of being a woman in the white house. >> reporter: suskind's publisher has stood completely by him. suskind allowed a "the washington post" reporter to review an excerpt of his original interview with anita dunn. we asked for a copy of that tape. his team declined. in that interview she said "if it weren't for the president this place would be in the court for a hostile place." i spoke with deborah katz. what is the definition of a hostile work environment for women? >> a hostile work environment is a legal term of art and it is a term that the supreme court defined carefully to be an
environment infused with intimidation, ridicule and abuse based on the person's gender that so alters the environment that it creates a sexually hostile work environment. the behavior has to be severe or pervasive. >> reporter: no word from anita dunn on that. the book also depicts a white house where accomplished women got in the door but not necessarily in the president's door. christina romer is quoted as saying "i felt like a piece of meat" after being shut out of a meeting by larry summers. we couldn't get larry summers to comment directly on that romer quote. summers only said what's attributed to him in this book is hearsay, fiction and distortion. christina romer since said she can't imagine she ever made that "piece of meat" remark. romer said "it is just too silly for words." >> the white house is countering
point by point some of the other issues that suskind has raised. >> one official points to two of the president's deputy chiefs of staff who are women, one female white house counsel and of course the two women he's appointed to the supreme court, they're hitting back hard on the idea that women don't get close to the president at this point. >> he's got a secretary of state who happens to be hillary clinton as well. let's talk a little bit more about this right now our chief white house correspondent jessica yellin, she's here with me in new york. jessica you've spoke on it a lot of these women who have worked in the white house, spoken to a lot of people as well. give us your thoughts on what this uproar is all about? >> wolf, in the early days when the white house had just convened there was a lot of anguish among the women especially in their feelings with the economic team, that their voices were not being heard and the women went to valerie jarrett, who was one of the president's oldest friends and one of his closest advisers in the white house, and she took
this to the president, and went to the president and he convened a dinner, and met with the senior women and heard them out, and by all accounts, things got much better after the president heard them out, and he took steps to improve things. i will say that i just spoke to a former white house staffer who has now left the building, a woman who says that to the extent that there were problems, it was in, her view, because the president wasn't aware of what his staff was doing and once he was aware, they got better but i will also say it's known among democratic women around washington that there is a concern about a boys' club environment in this white house. >> a boys club in the early year let's say of the obama white house when rahm emanuel was the white house chief of staff, david axelrod, robert gibbs was there? those were the reports that were coming out at the time that some of the women like valerie jarrett, for example, carol browner among others, they were not necessarily part of that inside team. >> it was much worse then, it
was much worse and the president has taken steps to improve it is the way i'd say it. >> if he had a dinner he recognized there was a problem and he fixed it, but i have to say in this administration, women have achieved tremendous opportunities. they've gotten positions that earlier administrations maybe they didn't necessarily achieve. >> absolutely and i think brian todd pointed it out well, female deputy chiefs of staff appointed to the supreme court. it's also a great opportunity for us to acknowledge that there is a difference between giving women a lofty title and actual influence and not just in this white house, but in politics in general, and i cannot tell you how many dinners i have attended with women political operatives over the years from both parties who say it is so challenging for them because they are maybe one or two female voices on an entire team and it is so hard for their voices to be heard because they are so outnumbered by the men and this is an ongoing issue in politics that i think is worth our talking about.
>> definitely worth talking about and definitely worth fixing because it's problems that exist among all on board. jessica, thank you. we'll continue discussing this controversy about the book. tomorrow ron suskind will be my guest tomorrow here in "the situation room," lots to discuss with him. a convicted killer whose death sentence sparked an international outcry is scheduled to be executed in 25 hours, troy davis is running out of options after the george p a parole board denied his appeal for clemency. you spoke with the prosecutor. what did he tell you? >> the former prosecutor has been silent for so many years because he said he was ethically bound to do all of his arguing in court and he points out he won at every turn in court when it came to fight the for this case and now he says that justice is being done. >> instead of rushing into
court, brandishing these affidavits to say wait, wait, wait, we have this new important evidence, they didn't. they pocketed them. they waited until eight days before the first execution was scheduled to disclose the fact that they had these affidavits of recantation, as they're pleased to call them. what did we learn from that? we learned from that, in my opinion that the affidavits of recantation were of more value to the attorneys as a device for delay than they were valuable to the attorneys as a device for substantive argument. it has been a game of delay throughout. the longer the delay, the more time they have to create not doubt, not honest doubt, not real doubt, but the appearance of doubt. >> former d.a. spencer talking about how he believes that the seven of nine witnesses who have since recanted their statements, he believes he says they were under pressure from supporters of davis to change their
stories, and he says that when the courts looked at their new stories, he says that they did not hold up any sort of credibility, and he says they've been very effective, however, as tools for public relations and he says now that everything is going forward as it should. wolf? >> does he have any more options available, troy davis, right now? >> troy davis supporters say they're going to try a couple of other things. they're unconventional and very unlikely to work. they were looking at the georgia pardons and parole board as their last best hope to keep him off of death row and of course today, that ruling came down early this morning, saying they would not commute his sentence, and that his execution will go on as scheduled. wolf? >> 7:00 p.m. eastern tomorrow night, a little bit less than 25 hours from now. all right, we'll watch and see what happens. david, thank you. let's go to jack cafferty with "the cafferty file."
president obama's $3 trillion debt reduction plan is really a huge tax increase accompanied by very small and somewhat questionable spending cuts. the president wants $3 in tax increases for every $1 in spending cuts, that's according to analysis done by "the washington times." his plan will go nowhere in congress. besides the $1.5 trillion in new taxes, here are the president's ideas of spending cuts. find waste in medicare, where have we heard that before? count savings from winding down the wars in iraq and afghanistan, that was going to happen anyway, count lower interest costs on the national debt. where were the cuts? no entitlement reform in this plan, no orders to cut the federal workforce, to cut federal budgets by a significant amount or to close overseas military bases, no means test for social security, no raising of the retirement age, nothing. meanwhile, as we wait for the
so-called super committee in congress to come up with their plan, the deficit situation is a ticking time bomb. here's the scary truth. even if the super committee comes up with $1.5 trillion in deficit cuts over the next decade, it is a miniscule dro drop in the bucket. our country is more than $14 trillion in debt right now. we're adding to it every year. even if the government cuts $4 trillion or $4 trillion in ten years, we'll have $7 trillion more than we have right now in ten years. the government knows this full well and simply refuses to be realistic about how dangerous our predicament is. so here is the question, is anyone, besides ron paul, serious about our deepening national financial crisis? go to cnn.com/caffertyfile and
post a comment on our blog or go to our post on "the situation room's" facebook page. wolf? >> jack, thank you. james carville says it's time for president obama and the white house to panic, as former boss bill clinton says carville is wrong. what should the president be doing right now? mr. clinton lays in on the warren buffett tax raising rates on america's wealthiest citizens, that and much more coming up in my one on one interview with the former president of the united states, bill clinton. [ beeping ] ♪ hush, little baby ♪ don't you cry ♪ soon the sun ♪ is going to shine ♪ [ male announcer ] toyota presents the prius family. ♪ walk if i want, talk if i want ♪ [ male announcer ] there's the original one... the bigger one... the smaller one... and the one that plugs in.
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very busy week here in new york city. president obama is here for the united nations general assembly, at the same time former president clinton is presiding over his clinton global initiative. this afternoon i sat down with the former president for a wide ranging interview. i asked about a controversial remark by one of his former top campaign advisers. you know, james carville, a man you know well, our cnn contributor, democratic strategist, worked with you for
a long time, he says it's time for the president and the white house to panic, to fire people, to indict people. he's just, sees what's happening, that special election here in new york city. you see carville is right? >> no. i think the first -- it's never a good thing for the president to panic. i think they need to focus as much as they can on like what we did when we just announced the afl-cio and the american federation of teachers and their pension funds and their allies are doing what the banking system should be doing, they're out there, they are funding major building retrofits and they're going to put thousands and thousands and thousands of people to work. that's what i think we should do. >> you're talking about pittsburgh and san diego and orlando and what you're doing here, it seems to be the exception. these are isolated incidents
that are positive, but the rest is -- >> exactly. so what should we be doing? that's what i was starting to say. what i'm trying to do is to figure out how you can get more of these centers of prosperity. how can you take things that are working like this onshoring, not offshoring jobs in missouri, how can we do this in other places? i spent an enormous amount of time trying to figure out how to get this to work. one thing i'm certain of, a washington food fight won't create a job and i think, i personally believe the president did the right thing by offering the republicans a plan that included things they had already supported. >> but they're not going to support tax increases -- >> tax decreases. look, let me -- the so-called buffett taxes really is what you might call an alternative minimum tax on millionaires and it takes -- >> you think that's a good idea.
>> well i would support it and pay it probably, although i'd probably meet the alternative minimum already. the point i want to make it it's a manner of distraction and none of it will be done until the big long-term debt reduction plan starts coming in. i'm talking about right now, right now he's trying to lower payroll taxes, and i think a very intelligently designed plan that even mark zandi, one of senator mccain's advisers in 2008, now a professional economic analyst says if the obama plan passed, it would reduce unemployment by producing a 1.3% to 2% growth in gdp, producing another 1 million 2 million jobs. i think putting out alreadyist examining infrastructure
channels, it's not a bad thing to do. this is okay, and they can do this without any tax increase. this is for right now. >> did the president miss an opportunity on entitlement reform this week? because he really didn't touch social security at all and the changes, the cuts in medicare and medicaid, while significant, still in the big picture relatively modest, not raising the eligibility age from 65 to 67, for example, for medicare, was there an opportunity he should have gone and really come up with a grandiose plan? >> well, first of all, my view of what a grandiose plan and yours are might be different. i think what he wanted to do this week was to fill in the blanks on the $3 trillion he was talking about with the congress, because if you remember, the republicans in congress were saying well he says he's for $3 trillion in cuts but what are
they filled at? i think he did that. now, here is what i think about your specific question. i kind of like what the commission did on social security because they actually saved a couple hundred billion dollars over a decade but they did it in a way that actually gave more money to low income social security recipients to survive. >> but the president never accepted that simpson-bowles commissions and republicans like paul ryan rejected it, democrats rejected it. >> ryan rejected it because of theology because of the revenues and spending cuts. >> tax increases. >> all i can ask the american people to do is to inject some reality into this. the theology of the modern republican party -- >> no new taxes. >> it's and ideology is that
every tax is bad especially if an upper income person has to pay it and everybody, even the moderates, david brooks has a column today acting like the president is like attila the hun because he wants to restore the tax rates that were enacted when i was president. everybody was doing fine and then we got five tax cuts and were the only beneficiaries of the economy in the last decade. now, this is not class warfare to say we're all going to have to pitch in, everybody has to give a little. those of us who gained the most and paid the least in the previous decade should do our part, but that is -- let's talk about the other thing, the medicare. here's the problem, for example, with raising retirement age on medicare, difference is social security. >> social security has already been raised. >> yeah and it can be raised over time like the simpson-bowles commission
recommends. if you raise the retirement aiming on medicare, the eligibility age on medicare, you will save money for the budget, but you won't save any money for the health care system. you will cost the health care system more. since 1970, annual costs of medicare after inflation have gone up 400%. since 1970, annual costs of private for-profit health insurance have gone up 700%. what the president has to do here is to make sure if whatever he does to save money on medicare also helps the private insurance system because we're spending about $850 billion more than we would if we had any other country's health insurance system that hurts our economy, keeps wages down, keeps investment for new business down. i think he may get better results out of this medicare than you think. >> here's what i'm concerned
about, i may be more concerned about the economy than you are, and it could affect the clinton global initiative, all of the important good work you're trying to do. >> sure. >> europe. it's a disaster what's happening, not just greece but other countries, it's spilling over and could cross the pond, come over here as well, and affect whatever you're trying to do through the cgi. >> sure. let's look at that and it could affect america's economic recovery. >> you're not as worried about that as i am? >> oh, yeah, very. i think it's important that your viewers understand why it could affect america's economic recovery. let's give it momentum for a moment. the euro is formed, the european currency unit and if you join, you have to agree to follow certain rules of financial responsibility. greece joins, and they're among the, you know, their incomes are lower and their budget deficits are higher than let's say the wealthier countries, germany, the nexterlands, allnetherlands.
the economy does well, everybody does well but when the economy is falling, it puts countries on the low end of this common currency in a terrible bind. why could that affect us? because a lot of american banks have invested in european banks, which in turn have bought greek securities. >> i'm concerned about that. >> yeah, you should be. >> all right, we'll have more of my fwer interview with the former president of the united states bill clinton, why he says right now the united states will veto a resolution on the palestinian state even if it triggers anger on the streets of the middle east, more coming up. and two americans stn to sit in an iranian jail as president mahmo mahmoud ahmainejad comes to new
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more now of my interview with former president bill clinton. clinton global initiatives are taking place in new york city this week right at the same time as the united nations general assembly. i was eager to ask the president about the unfolding drama as palestine seeks statehood from the u.n. here's my concern, the u.s./obama administration says it will veto a u.n. security council resolution to establish a palestinian state. that could trigger a lot of anti-american reaction in the muslim world and the arab world,
elsewhere. how concerned are you that that could trigger that kind of development? >> oh, a little bit, but i think the -- >> just a little bit? >> yeah, and i'll tell you why. in the street, it's more of a concern than among the leaders, for this reason. there is a widespread feeling in the world that the current israeli government may have abandoned the intention of working with the palestinians to create a state on the west bank in gaza and just doesn't want to say it. >> do you believe that? >> i'm not in government. i don't know enough to know. i'm just telling you what i hear around here, that this palestinian government on the west bank, under president abbas
and mr. fayed is the best government the israelis ever worked with, which they're good on government security, self-reliance, this ey're just d but they still don't want to negotiate borders and security for a palestinian state, and they're spending a fortune to expand settlements in the west bank and apparently now want to train militia. on the other hand, they claim that they want to continue to negotiate for a state. as long as that's possible, the united states, being the only country that israel really trusts to be there for it under all conditions, will veto this resolution to keep the debate going, to keep open the possibility of peace, but it is a very difficult thing. the other countries understand this, but you know, everything israel always said they wanted,
they wanted their arab neighbors to accept them. now you've got the king of saudi arabia mobilizing every arab country except syria and muslim countries as far away from india saying give the pal stibians their state, we'll have political progress. nothing happens. i'm not worried about somebody taking action against us. i think what we need to do is as soon as this is over, as soon as the palestinians have had their say and said we did everything we're asking, this is not happening so they ask for this and we'll see toe it, what we have to do is to move immediately to contain the fallout, not so much for the united states but for the people in the middle east. >> because on the street the reaction will be angry. >> they'll be mad, but the israelis can justify our vote by returning to good faith
negotiations and you know, given these people who have produced prosperity and security and cooperation with israel, some reason to believe that they could negotiate their way to a state. i mean you know this has been years this has been going on. the palestinians didn't just show up and do this because they were dying to cause problems. they believe that the current government in israel will never negotiate a state with reasonable borders that is even remotely like what the government under prime minister baraq -- >> a year ago you blamed arafat for missing that opportunity. >> and you've got a very different israel now, all of the new immigrants there, they weren't part of the past, they
don't want to give up the land, but sooner or later, everybody's going to have to come clean here. if the current government has decided that there will be no palestinian state and that they have no intention of having a reasonable settlement on the west bank and they should say that, so the palestinians can get on with their lives and they should live with the consequences, but meanwhile, the united states will veto this because we have to keep open the possibility of a negotiated peace, and the people in the arab world understand that and will be fine with it. we need to contain the fallout and make something good happen. >> easier said than done in my opinion. you feel okay? >> great. >> you look good. >> i feel fine. >> thanks very much. >> thank you. >> good luck with the clinton global initiative. >> thank you. >> let's do it again next year. >> okay. >> so here's the question, what can president obama learn from bill clinton in the sometimes tumultuous presidency?
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let's dig deeper now about my interview with the former president bill clinton. joining us cnn chief political analysts. >> reporter:ia gloria borger and ron brownstein. former president clinton would have embraced thesiveson-bowles plan and the obama administration doesn't? >> if you read between the lines sounds like bill clinton liked a lot about the simpson-bowles plan not the least of which the plan to fix social security over an extended period of time, and i think knowing bill clinton's politics as we all do that this would have appealed to him because it would have allowed him to tackle an entitlement
problem without having to do it very quickly or all at once, and so you know, i've said previously lots of other people have said that perhaps looking back on it, barack obama made a mistake by not embracing the simpson-bowles deficit reduction plan in his state of the union last january. i wonder whether bill clinton would have endorsed him. >> that raises a question, ron, what can, what should president obama learn from bill clinton the way he negotiated, newt gingrich the speaker of the house, you remember those days. >> absolutely. first of all in sermz of simpson-bowles obama may have made a tactical choice not to embrace it. in the end there's no question if john boehner were to have given him simplesons-bowles in july i think he would have taken it in a heartbeat. the lesson from bill clinton there is both compromise and
confrontation as part of the process. bill clinton ultimately reached a very productive balanced budget deal with the republicans in 1997 that produced three years of surplus and also created the children's health insurance program, did a lot of good things. >> welfare reform. >> only came after a sustained conflict in '95 and '96 that led to two government shutdowns and his re-election in 1996 so you could argue in some extent even though obama moved toward a more confrontational decision, that does not prove if republicans win control of congress you could see 2013 as an analog to 1997 where both sides realize they've spoken and they have to find an axwreemt at that point. >> gloria, what about that, are there other lessons this president should be learning from clinton? >> there are, i really agree with ron. the president is saying i may have to be more confrontational in order to get reelected. once i'm reelected then i can do all of these other things but the voters, a couple of other
lessons. one is the voters like to see some accomplishment, achievement. two the base of your party when it decides it has nowhere else to go will probably return to you, which is what happened to bill clinton and i also think that he can take a look at clinton's success in portraying the opposition as too radical, that worked for him, and i think we see barack obama getting there and as we get closer to the election, i believe we will hear the word extremist used again and again and again. >> yes. one very big difference, clinton was in a stronger political position as '96 went on largely because the economy was recovering and that's why trent lott in particular made a decision on health care and minimum wage and they did it
because they felt they needed to show accomplishments to maintain the senate majority. republicans now i think feel that obama is in a weakened position, there will be enormous pressure on the congressional leadership not to provide him any accomplishments of significance between now and november 2012. >> gloria, you remember because all of us covered bill clinton there was something called triangulation, i'm not seeing a lot of obama trying on lags. remind our viewers how clinton used that successfully to get himself reelected in 19 t97 the first year of his second term. >> he made deals with republicans in congress and at the expensexpense, lots of demo thought at their own expense. bill clinton was somebody who was cutting deals, but let me add one other thing, which is the that bill clinton had an easier case to make, following up on ron's point when he was running for re-election. he could say look the jobs are heading in the right direction.
the unemployment rate is heading in the right direction. barack obama right now has only the case to make that things would have been worse if i hadn't done what i've done. he tried that argument in the midterm elections, the democrats tried it in 2010. it didn't work so well for them, because you know, saying that things would have been worse is not a very convincing argument to make to the american public, and that's where barack obama could use a little bit of bill clinton him, because if anybody could make that argument, it would be bill clinton because he's such a great salesman and i think barack obama has a lot to learn from that because his argument is going to be pretty tough if unemployment remains over 9%. >> i'm going to find out if president obama is calling former president clinton for advice. i suspect not. more news coming up including a major typhoon barrelling down on japan.
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lisa sylvester is monitoring some of the other top stories in "the situation room" right now. lisa, new details on why those two american hikers are still sitting in prison in iran. what's the latest? >> yeah, that's right, wolf. two american hikers who have been held in iran for more than two years, they faced yet another delay to their release today, an attorney for josh fattal and shane bauer says their bail has been paid but needs one more signature from a judge to prove it but that judge didn't come to court. a man considered vital to peace efforts in afghanistan was assassinated earlier today. former afghan president rabani had been leading the afghan peace council. the suicide attack on his home occurred at the same time a meeting was to take place
between rabani and a taliban representative. strong waves and flooding are just the beginning of what japan is dealing with as a typhoon approaches. we are just hours away from the landfall of typhoon roqi packing winds of 100 miles per hour and flooding and landslides. more than 1 million people have been urged to evacuate from homes. and the u.s. supreme court granted a stay of execution for a texas man scheduled to die tonight. cleve foster was granted a stay of execution, it gives his lawyers additional time to file more appeals. you might want to be careful before putting this one on your tab, a chinese businessman put down a deposit on a $200,000 bottle of scotch. the 62-year-old bottle is one of only 12 produced, the price breaks a record set by another bottle of the same brand sold
three months ago, the price tag if you work it out it amounts to about $12,000 per serving. i don't know about you, wolf, who has got the money for that? for all of us working folks can you imagine a $20,000 bottle of scotch? >> no, i can't imagine. do they ever open that or just hold onto it? >> $12,000 a sip or a serving, you know. >> better not. that's too much. thank you. jack cafferty is coming up next with "the cafferty file." later the former chpt dick cheney weighs in on the republican presidential contenders, his interviews with john king coming up at the top of the hour on "john king for our north american viewers." [ male announcer ] this is the network.
let's get back to jack for the cafferty file. >> the question this hour, is anyone besides ron paul serious about this nation's deepening financial crisis? rich writes from florida -- no, no one. it is not popular to deliver the truth, particularly when it is bad news. as a result, none of the others are going to do it and dr. paul won't be elected by trying to.
too many people are willfully ignorable or benefiting from the status quo. hate to be so downbeat but it is what it is. steve writes -- have you to be kidding. ron paul wants to dissolve the federal reserve. probably would like to go back to the gold standard and late 1890s. his ideas are worse than those of the bush/cheney administration that caused this mess. john on facebook -- not only are the other candidates not serious with b our financial problems they are oblivious. ron paul is the only candidate that understands the business cycle and monetary system and why we have the problems we do. dr. paul has been right for 30 years on this. we no longer have time not to listen to him. carla writes -- i don't think he's serious about anything but his own self-interest. i can't take anyone in the race seriously who doesn't support heavy tax owes the wealthy and big corporations and closing tax loopholes. if they don't want to tax the wealthy and big business, then they have to have an ulterior
motive. h.j. writes from st. paul, i want social security and health care when i'm old and no longer have a job. i want them to raise taxes on me now so i have a huge fund saved up by the time i retire. stop talking about cutting. i want those things. taxes have to be higher. those republicans want to eliminate the entire social safety net. you don't like taxes, fine. go live in nigeria and make $2 a day. if you want to read more on this, obviously people have strong feelings, you go to my blog, cnn.com/caffertyfile or on the facebook page. wolf? >> all right, jack. thank you. marking an historic day with life changing decision. cnn's jeanne moos is next. with integrated healthcarencer] solutions from dell, every file is where dr. ling needs it. now she can spend more time with patients and less time on paperwork. dell. the power to do more.
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germany came out to his father in alabama. >> can i tell you something? >> yeah. >> will you love me, period? >> yeah. >> reporter: he waited until the repeal of don't ask/don't tell officially went into effect. >> dad, i'm gay. i always have been. i have known since forever. i didn't want you to find out any other way. >> okay. >> reporter: after two low-key okays, we sometime don't r didn't know how his father really felt. >> do you still love me? >> i still love you, son. >> are you okay, dad? >> it doesn't change our relationship. >> reporter: what had changed was the 21-year-old soldier's relationship with himself. he started using youtube as a way to gradually come out. for months, this is how he showed himself in videos, mostly from the neck down, never revealing his face.
in video after video, he documented his coming out process. >> i told my girlfriend and hardest thing i have ever done. >> reporter: even on facebook, he hid his face, even hid behind his beer when he came out to a soldier friend, he put that on youtube. >> i'm gay. >> i couldn't give a rat's ass. love is love. >> reporter: love is love but tell that to your dad. >> i thought he was going to be hurt. my dad only has one son. and it is me. >> reporter: air force airmen randy phillips told us it went better than he expected. >> you're my son and i'm very proud of you. okay? >> yes, sir. oh, my lord. >> reporter: wait a minute, randy. not so fast. there is one other matter. >> do you want to tell mom for me? >> i don't believe so. >> reporter: when randy called his mother -- >> just a lot of